Your Holiday Traditions Start Downtown

November 01, 2019

Enjoy Great Shopping, Seasonal Lights, a Winter Night Market, and a Cookie Walk

Create Your Downtown Madison Holiday Tradition

Madison’s Central Business Improvement District’s (BID) new, unified Downtown Seasonal Celebration called “Shine On Madison” continues in 2019.

This six-week community event, started in 2017 to increase visibility and traffic to businesses downtown, includes a seasonal lighting ceremony, a winter market, a special focus on downtown retailers, enjoyment of the arts and a strong sense of community. Information on all the shopping options, dining locations and special events taking place from 11/16 – 1/6/20 can be found online.

MORE SEASONAL LIGHTS! (November 16 – January 6, 2020)
With 10 NEW community light displays, 13 specially decorated areas, fantastic restaurants and the region’s best shopping options, Downtown Madison is the perfect place to celebrate the season with friends and family.

In 2017, as part of their 75th anniversary, the Madison Community Foundation helped the BID add new lighted activity areas to the downtown. These new lights, along with over 100 snowflake pole lights and seasonal planters will create a fun festive feel to downtown Madison.

This year the BID has partnered to present a tour of 10 Community Planters. These planters have been “adopted” by local non-profit organizations and are scattered throughout the downtown. These organizations will add special decorations and share information about the work they do. The new displays will be turned on at 6:08pm on November 16 and stay up through January 6. Community Planter partners include: Fibre Forward Madison; Goodman Community Center; Grace Food Pantry; Ma, Paws, and Me Pet Rescue; Madison Reading Project; Fresh Start; The Beacon and more.

Many area property and business owners are participating too! ALL displays will be turned on at 6:08pm on November 16 and stay up through January 6, 2020. A digital map marking the locations will be available November 15.

Join city VIPs, Santa & Mrs. Claus, and more for a special ceremony beginning at 6pm on November 16 where the Capitol Square meets State Street. At 6:08pm (a nod to our 608 area code) we will turn on all the lights! We have many special surprises in store for this very special event! In addition to a special Madison Night Market; more than 40 downtown businesses will be open late with shopping specials.

A WINDOW DISPLAY COMPETITION (November 16 – December 18)
Businesses in the BID are competing for bragging rights! Art Gecko has been the winner in 2017 and 2018. Will they take the trophy for the 3rd year? The Window Display Competition will run from Saturday, November 16 through Monday, December 16. Guests can pick up and drop off a ballot at the Downtown Visitors Center (452 State Street) near Lisa Link Peace Park or at participating businesses. Digital voting will be available beginning November 16.

The Madison Night Market – Winter Market will include 40 vendors showcasing handmade products, local art, artisan gifts, prepackaged foods, games and special visiting food carts. This winter event will be held on the 100 block of State Street November 16 from 4pm – 8pm. Attendees will also want to make sure to visit the MMOCA Art & Gift Fair open that day! Retailers and restaurants in the area will feature warm drinks and delicious food. Madison Night Market Website

The Holiday Open House offers great holiday fun. With more than 80 retail shops there is no better place to shop than Downtown Madison. The Open House includes family shows and activities, trolley rides and special welcome bags, plus special offers and refreshments from participating merchants.

• Shopping Hours
9am - 4pm
State Street & Capitol Square

• Holiday Trolley & Carolers
10am - 4pm (Free)
Welcome bags, treats for kids, easy shopping!
Catch the trolley at regular bus stops.

Downtown Madison is the place to find unique gifts for the holidays. The central district is home to more than 300 shops, galleries, restaurants, pubs, service businesses and cultural organizations. Shopping downtown is an experience with a free holiday trolley on December 7, 14, and 21.

Downtown Information Ambassadors great riders on the trolley and provide welcoming gift bags. Stop by the Downtown Visitor Center (452 State Street) for a bag or to get shopping suggestions.

Downtown Madison Gift Certificates are available for purchase in person at The Overture Center for the Arts or at University Book Store. Online purchases are easy. Just click here.

The Downtown Madison Cookie Walk is an excellent way to celebrate the season, enjoy your city and finish your holiday shopping. With more 20 sampling stops and several activity areas, the downtown businesses are excited to host this new event. Tickets are $8 per person and $25 for a family 4-pack. Tickets are limited to 500. Ticket sales and information are available online beginning 11/15.

To our sponsors MGE, Memorial Union, Park Hotel and Traditions Lighting.

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